Crocheted Edges on Blankets

Photo of a blue blanket with crocheted edges

 

Last year in the middle of lockdown I decided to take up a new hobby, crocheting edges on fleece blankets.

I collected fleece, acrylic yarn, and one of those circular blades that cuts tiny holes in the edges of fleece, watched some instructional videos, chose my crochet edge pattern, and made the blanket pictured.

Then in August I hurt my wrist, then in October, my other wrist, and literally haven’t touched a yarn project since.

I think I may be on the mend, and hope to start playing with yarn again soon.

Did you take up any new hobbies during COVID-19?

 

Kitchen Backsplash

My husband likes to do things the hard way.

Most people, faced with the need to add some backsplash tile to their kitchen, would either hire a professional, or if they were an ambitions DYIer, would choose one (1) type of tile and apply and grout it and be done.

But no. We have two types of tile that are completely different shapes and made of different materials. Rather than put a straight line between them, my husband purchased a wet tile saw and made intricate cuts in order to develop this pattern.

Not content to simply grout the tiles, my man applied glow in the dark powder to some, to make it look like lightening.

Still not impressed? There’s more. Two walls contain secret messages relayed by the backsplash tile grout glow. One system uses Morse code, and the other, I have no idea. The secret messages when decoded may in fact lead you to a hidden prize.

Child’s Desk Makeover

My tween’s desk has been a source of parental horror for me ever since I caught her eating a bowl of soup directly in front of the laptop keyboard. Banning soup from the area isn’t enough though. I mean, look at the photo below. She doesn’t have any real space to do her crafts while watching endless sessions of PopularMMOs on the laptop screen. I’ve been telling her for months that we just need to raise the lappy up on a platform, push it back aways, and add a bluetooth keyboard which we have kicking around, but she recoiled every time I brought it up, apparently unable to convince herself that the effort of moving her little bins of whatsit back there were going to be worth it.

"Before"

“Before”

So while she was at school one day last week, I decided to take matters in to my own hands, aka, “saving her from herself.” It’s a power technique all parents need to have in their toolkit when raising a stubborn child.

Once I got past stripping away layers of garbage and out of place materials I began to notice some shrewd transformations my child had done:

Clever use of pencil sharpeners to hold those silly little golf pencils

Clever use of pencil sharpeners to hold those silly little golf pencils

 

Cheap windchime kit ingeniously morphed into a mobile with straws, paper clips and little paper shapes.

Cheap wind chime kit ingeniously morphed into a mobile with straws, paper clips and little paper shapes.

Once there was room, I moved all the little bins and put in these cheap plastic shelves from Daiso and then arranged her stuff. Lappy went up on a riser with the keyboard tucked underneath.

See how much better it looks? Well, it’s not Pinterest-worthy but still. In my house, this counts as serious progress. Especially since the kid loved it.

"After"

“After”

Yarn Dying Time

Every Easter, after the egg dying is complete, I snatch up some of the leftover egg dye, pour it over wet wool, and nuke it until the water runs clear.

This year I tried both a natural dye from PCC Natural Markets and the usual chemical ones (by Dudley).

You can probably guess which is which!

Easter egg dye can be used to dye wool

Day 25. Five resources you’d recommend to anyone who wants to get into your industry. #crazyrebelliousart

Hmm, well I don’t have just one “industry.”

For writing, I recommend CreateSpace if you’d like to self-publish. You can have them do an editorial review of your work for a reasonable price, and answer all sorts of valuable questions that serve as a sanity check for whether you really do have a good book to offer the world. For editing fiction, I recommend my editor Teri, the Editing Fairy.

For knitting and crochet there’s no better resource than Ravelry. I’m summerleaf on there if you want to friend me.

For painting, if you are local to Seattle, check out Artists & Craftsman Supply.

And this is pretty random, but if you are so busy doing your creative work that you don’t have time to cook, check out food delivery service Munchery.

Day 22. What’s a new skill you want to learn in the next year? #crazyrebelliousart

I took a bunch of yarn left over from other projects and tied them together into this crazy ball.

Magic yarn ball

Magic yarn ball

Then I wondered what to do with it. Freeform Crochet is my answer. I’ve started making a blanket (I guess that’s what it’s going to be) but there’s a lot I still have to learn about crochet. So that’s the first thing I want to learn: how to improve at Freeform Crochet. Meanwhile, here’s what I have so far:

Freestyle Crochet Blanket-to-Be

Freestyle Crochet Blanket-to-Be

The next thing I would like to learn is weaving. I don’t mean “serious” weaving where I get a huge loom…I don’t have room for that in my house. I’m just thinking of a little Zoom Loom. It makes little squares, which you can then sew together to make blankets, scarves, little boxes.

Dryer Lint

Super thick dryer lint

Super thick dryer lint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We recently replaced our towels with these awesome ones, and upon first wash, I got a super thick peeling of dryer lint, which I present here for your OCD pleasure. If there’s enough interest (or if there’s no interest, but I want to do it anyway), I could do a whole series of awesome dryer lint peelings.

How to make firestarters

I feel a little weird posting instructions on how to make firestarters, considering how much of my state is on fire at the moment, but just fast forward to those cold days of winter, and think of what a pain it is to get a fire going in your fireplace or woodstove. Plus, if you want these babies during the cold of winter (or for the holiday gift giving season), you’ll want to start now collecting the things you will need.

I’m going to describe how to make two different types: egg carton and pinecone. Check out the supply list for each to see if one will be easier for you. I’m fortunate in that my family eats a lot of eggs, generates a lot of dryer lint, and lives next door to a giant pine tree.

materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egg Carton and Dryer Lint Firestarters:

  1. Gather your supplies. For egg carton style firestarters, you need the following:
  • two small pots you will no longer devote to food use after using them for this
  • some wax. I like to get crumbles/flakes of palm wax, soy wax, or beeswax from Zenith Supplies
  • a wooden chopstick or other stirring implement you will devote to wax-only
  • a heat source for melting wax, such as your stove
  • empty cardboard egg cartons
  • dryer lint that you will have been collecting for months:

dryer lint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Next, tear off the carton lid and put a small amount of dryer lint in each egg compartment:

egg cartons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Make a doubleboiler by putting a little water in the larger pot and placing it on the heat source, then insert the smaller pot into the water pot, and put some wax into it. Stir it with a chopstick or other implement until the wax is completely liquid.

melt wax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Remove the wax pot from the heat and pour a small amount of wax over the dryer lint. It will look a little like cat barf.

pour wax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Let this cool, then cut apart each egg compartment. Each one is it’s own firestarter!

 

Pinecone Firestarters:

  1. Gather your supplies:
    • two small pots you will no longer devote to food use after using them for this
    • some wax. I like to get crumbles/flakes of palm wax, soy wax, or beeswax from Zenith Supply
    • a wooden chopstick or other stirring implement you will devote to wax-only
    • a heat source for melting wax, such as your stove
    • cupcake papers and a cup cake tin, or some old cardboard (I use lids from egg cartons)
    • pinecones aplenty
    • some candle wick from a shop like Zenith Supplies

pinecones

wick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cut pieces of wick long enough to wrap around the pine cone a time or two. I used a piece about 8-10″ long. Wrap your pine cones with wick and place them in cupcake papers which are sitting either in a cupcake tin, or on some old cardboard.

3. Make a doubleboiler by putting a little water in the larger pot and placing it on the heat source, then insert the smaller pot into the water pot, and put some wax into it. Stir it with a chopstick or other implement until the wax is completely liquid.

melt wax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pour a bit of wax over the pine cone, just enough to get some of the wick to stick to the pine cone. A little will fill the bottom of the cupcake paper, too.

pour wax on cones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Here is the finished product:

finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy crafting!